January 21, 2011
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Talks between Iran and world powers seeking to persuade the Islamic Republic to curb its nuclear program came close to collapse on Friday, but would resume on Saturday, a western official said.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton convinced the Iranian delegation to remain at the talks, which will go into a second day on Saturday with little prospect of concrete progress beyond entrenched positions in the eight-year-old dispute.
The West suspects Iran plans to develop a nuclear weapon but Tehran insists its atomic energy program is peaceful and that it has a right to enrich uranium to power its nuclear reactors.
“We had been preparing for the possibility of a potential collapse,” the western diplomat said, crediting the tough line taken by Ashton and the unity of the six powers.